Beginning School


A place to wonder, create, explore and discover.

Beginning with our three- and four-year-olds, children are given opportunities to socialize and play, developing skills to build friendships and grow as valued members of a purposeful and safe learning community.

Each week, students receive instruction in language arts, math, social studies, science, Spanish, movement and music. Using developmentally appropriate strategies, our youngest students build early literacy and critical thinking skills, preparing them to be engaged readers, writers and problem solvers in our Lower School (grades 1-3). Technology is woven throughout the program, as a tool to enhance learning.

Creating a safe and welcoming community is part of our social and emotional curriculum. Swain teachers use Responsive Classroom techniques throughout the Beginning School. Teachers model positive words and productive routines, and redirect misbehavior clearly and proactively.

Children in the Beginning School develop a strong sense of self by taking on responsibilities and learning about their classmates through their Morning Meeting. Emphasis is placed on cooperation, friendship and peaceful conflict resolution.

The learning extends in our Beginning School as students attend special events including weekly assemblies and field trips and have Swain “buddies” in older grades.


Swain offers a full-day Kindergarten program, while Preschool and Prekindergarten students may attend for full day or half day sessions. We understand that many families need a flexible schedule for a variety of reasons, so we also offer Extended Care before- and after school, with special programming during many school holidays and in the summer. A number of SASS (Swain After School Specials) programs are available for children in these grades.


The faculty in Beginning School are highly qualified professionals, many of whom hold advanced degrees. To ensure that every child receives individualized attention, there are two teachers in each classroom: a lead teacher and a collaborative. A full-time School Counselor, Reading Specialist, and Learning Specialist provide assistance for faculty and students, as well.